Change is certainly happening in the architecture and design world and Billard Leece Partnership (BLP) is the latest high profile practice to embrace the future through the appointment of a new Managing Director and leadership team that comprises of 12 Principals and 11 Associates.
With a 130-strong staff and offices in Melbourne and Sydney, BLP has long been regarded as global experts in social infrastructure. As a leading architecture practice in Australia for 25 years the new appointments will herald a more inclusive model of ownership that further recognises the talent within the company.
Tara Veldman has been appointed Managing Director, following the retirement of David Leece, and the new team of Principals include, Ron Billard, Mark Mitchell, Adam Muggleton, Tonya Hinde, Emily Gilfillan, Raj Senanayake, Ken Tsen, Matthew Hughes, Paul Longridge, Ariel Lopez, and Shane Wood. Billard, Veldman and Mitchell, along with non-executive directors Tim Shannon and David Tregoning will be joined on the board by a new member, Adam Muggleton.
Veldman’s credentials are impeccable having established the Sydney office of BLP 10 years ago. The studio has since expanded to accommodate some 70 staff with projects that span the range of the health and education sectors. Soon to be completed projects include the Campbelltown Hospital in mid-2021 and the University of Sydney Health Precinct, in collaboration with Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
Citing the work at hand Veldman elaborated, “The significant projects BLP is working on will shape the future of social infrastructure in Australia and overseas. We design for a healthy world. We are focused on re-envisaging hospitals, health hubs, education precincts, high tech research labs, residential communities and continuing to pioneer new ways of working.”
To further demonstrate the importance of the social impact of health and wellbeing in the built environment, Veldman will continue to support the evidence-led, user-focused design strategies that have been a hallmark of BLP’s success.
“Our objective is to build healthier communities, which means designing for the entire community by creating well-considered environments for the more vulnerable: developing playful healing and learning opportunities for children; providing safe, non-stigmatized spaces for people with mental health issues; stimulating secure centres for seniors and their families,” said Veldman.
BLP has completed many complex projects both in Australia and overseas and the practice has received multiple awards and accolades for its work. Some projects completed in the last years include the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne; Orygen – The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health in Parkville, Victoria; the University of Melbourne’s Werribee Campus Redevelopment; and the Hong Kong Children’s Hospital.
Currently BLP is involved with the planning of The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, two projects that together present a total investment of some $1.3 billion. Through these large-scale projects BLP is helping to shape the design future of some of the most important sectors in our community and this will continue with the leadership of Veldman as the new CEO reiterated, “Our business has a proven ability to deliver complex and large-scale projects with an inherent humanity, that’s greatly appreciated by our government clients. The BLP design team has worked with the principles of design research, design thinking and co-design methodologies for decades, putting the user at the heart of the design process, being empathetic to their needs.”